It's been a tough month. I'm not happy with much of the goings-on. In large part it has to do with having to move. After almost five years of living in one place, I'm about to become nomadic again. For those years I have been living in a studio apartment on a friend's piece of property out in the country. It's a place that holds many memories for me. But she's getting on in years and the property has become a burden. She lacks the energy to maintain the garden, and travelling to town has certainly become problematic. I understand her decision, and support it completely, but in a way we're both grieving the loss of this place.

For me, it's the place Christine used to come, both to help in the garden and recoup energy. There is so much here associated with her that it's hard to leave. There were paths she'd set, rockwork she'd done. Here near the grape arbour was where I met my first hummingbird. back in 2004 at my first Thanksgiving. If I looked outside my front door, there was the olive tree where we got married.

But of course I am being selfish. My friend enjoyed decades here with her late husband, and the loss I feel must be magnified a thousand times for her.

In the midst of this I also had two weeks of illness. Not Covid, it was a sinus and ear infection. I was horribly sick, was in a lot of pain and spent a week unable to move round much. I lost weight because I had no appetite and had to force myself into the kitchen. I'm left with slight hearing loss on one side, and what is possibly tinnitus. The enforced inactivity has also triggered leg pain if I try to walk more than a hundred yards. It's uncomfortable and worrying, and it made packing up and moving incredibly hard (it's only thanks to the Dryad that it happened as easily as it did).

For now I'm living at my friend's farm, getting ready to move back to the city. I'm not looking forward to City Life. I'm going to miss sitting out on the porch watching the sun rise. I'm going to miss the dark night skies and the vista. I'm not looking forward to the traffic, the noise and the press of people. I'm a country boy really. But I'll cope until a better plan comes along.

On the thorny issue of writing, especially fiction.

Meanwhile, since coming back to E2 I have set myself a target of one writeup a week on average, of which one would be fiction or poetry. I've not done badly. Looking back at July, I wrote four things. Thoughts about where the USA is heading with a humorous twist, a story that had been niggling away in my backbrain (and which I have a feeling will spawn a story arc), an article on pouring beer (that Auspice encouraged me to write), and a tale of how to cope with limited resources.

Two of these are significant. The last of those is good because I don't have many resources and my life is complicated, so a reminder of how to manage problems creatively is good for me.

The story continues to generate other creative tales, and I feel others bubbling up. It's not like it will become a novel, because connecting them together will be tough. It will probably be a loose collection of vignettes looped together by…whatever I can thread them with. I'm not good at writing fiction, especially when it comes to dialogue. But I will continue to practice, though I really am looking for feedback on them. If anyone is willing to read one or two a month and give me some pointers on improvement, I would be most grateful. Even if you downvote it, send me a message about the why. I want to improve.

Seriously, if anyone is willing to mentor me through this process, there's a beer in it, and my undying love.

O Universe! My heart again!

Finally, there is an affair of the heart. A few of you have noticed me writing about love lately. One or two remarked on the fact that I'd churned out some poems. My heart is stolen again.

I've known her for probably twelve years. This is the woman who encouraged Christine to take up ballet, the woman who became a good friend and support to us all. Her kids danced with Tessie. She was sitting with Christine on the morning of the day she died. She helped organise things during the leadup to the guardianship trial for Tessie. She came to the trial to support me and Tess.

She's been through her own hell, she and her children too. They are all still recovering, and it's hard for them. She's finding it hard to believe that someone loves her, and allowing herself to be loved is tricky. But she is loving, and she does love me. For my part, I'm trying to do for her what she did for us; be there in whatever capacity I can.

I'm being patient, or at least trying to be. I have moved on a long way from losing Christine. For ten years I had the same pic of the two of us, on my homenode. I wanted to replace it with one of my Dryad and me, but I'm not sure either of us are quite ready to put that out there just now. I did replace it with a significant image though (from a postcard a noder sent me twenty years ago).

Love is about sacrifice. Love is hard. But I have love to give, and I need love too. But in the end I know that everything will be hunky dory.

 $ xclip -o | wc
     36     974    5149

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